COX, TODD, MORRELL REACTION
audio interview with Paul Cox from 103.2
audio interview with Paul Cox from Radio Nottm
Paul Cox praises Mansfield Town response
Mansfield Town boss Paul Cox says the victory over high-flying Wrexham was the perfect response to Saturday's home humbling by Kidderminster Harriers.
The Stags survived a difficult opening quarter of the match to triumph 3-1 and knock the Welsh side off the top of the Blue Square Bet Premier table.
Cox told BBC Radio Nottingham: "The lads have proved a point, especially after Saturday [against Harriers].
"I gave them stick - and I gave myself stick - because we were awful."
Cox, whose side lie fifth in the table - four points behind leaders Gateshead - added: "You have to take the rough with the smooth when you perform badly but the mark of a good side - and having character - is to do the business on the pitch.
"The lads have come here, to a fabulous side who play some great stuff and have some great players, and won 3-1. That is all we can do.
"People tend to forget we had 17 new players come to this club and we have only lost two in 12 matches and we have been to some horrendous places where you wouldn't bet on us getting a result - but we have won."
audio interview with Andy Morrell from Radio Wales
Wrexham interim manager Andy Morrell:
"That was hard to take. There was a really good atmosphere here and really good game for us and I'm just really disappointed.
"The last goal, it doesn't matter about that as we were going for it. But I was just so proud of the players in the last 25 minutes of the game as it was 10 men against 11 and it seemed to take the sending off to spark us into life.
"The reaction from the lads I can't fault and I'll take that as the positive out of the game."
Stags proved a point with victory, says Cox
PAUL Cox felt his Mansfield Town side had 'proved a point' by dismissing Saturday's 3-0 defeat at home to Kidderminster with a 3-1 triumph at league leaders Wrexham last night.
The Stags had to dig in at times at the Racecourse Ground as both teams ended with ten men.
But they kept their nerve at key times to win through with an own goal and strikes from Matt Green and Paul Connor.
A fourth away win on the bounce was enough to lift them back into the Blue Square Bet Premier play-off places, four points behind leaders Gateshead.
"I gave them some stick after Kidderminster and they have also heard a lot about what other people have said about them – and that's because they were awful at the weekend," said manager Cox.
"But I think the lads have proved a point with that performance, especially after Saturday.
"I told them they have to take the rough with the smooth and it was the mark of their character by coming out and doing the business on the pitch.
"We have already been to some tough places but for the first 15 or 20 minutes here I thought they had 15 players on the pitch.
"I think they were the best side we have played this season, including Luton, and they pulled us all over the place in the early stages.
"It was like playing away at Inter Milan and I thought it was going to be a long night.
"They have a fabulous side, yet we have come here and won 3-1 so I'm obviously delighted.
"We came here with a game plan, and stuck to it, working very hard and working well defensively as a side.
"We have responded in exactly the right way that we needed to."
Cox: Don't judge Stags play-off hopes just yet
PAUL Cox insists it is too early to judge if Mansfield Town can last the course in their bid to reach the Blue Square bet Premier play-offs this season.
The Stags have made a bright start to their campaign, losing just two of their first 12 league games to sit in fifth spot.
They have already posted some notable victories against well-fancied sides, not least their 3-1 victory at then league leaders Wrexham on Tuesday night.
They have also strung together five wins and four consecutive away successes, suggesting the Stags could find the kind of consistency to challenge for a place back in the Football League.
Yet boss Cox remains cautious about his team's chances.
"As soon as we start to get carried away then we have results like we did against Kidderminster (a 3-0 loss last Saturday)," said Cox.
"They are an honest bunch of players, but do they have the quality to get in the play-offs? We certainly have quality, but we are still in our infancy as a team.
"It is still too early to tell if we can keep it going right through the season and I don't mean to avoid the question by saying that – I genuinely believe it.
"I said I want promotion or the play-offs come the end of the season, which is still the case, but to keep performing as we have done all season is tough."
Returning Todd delighted to help Stags to fourth straight away win
ANDY Todd was delighted to help Mansfield Town to their fourth straight away victory with a 3-1 win at Wrexham in what was his first game since the opening day of the season against Bath.
The player-coach was dropped after the 1-1 draw with the Romans and not even figured in any of the team's squads since then.
But he was handed an opportunity at the Racecourse Ground and took it with both hands as Mansfield wrapped up their first victory at the Welsh venue since 1986.
"It was a brilliant all-round effort to come here and win by the lads, not just from one or two players, especially with them being top of the league," said Todd.
"It is a tough place to come and can be intimidating with the way their supporters get behind them.
"Early on we found it hard because the way they passed the ball and their movement off the ball was fantastic.
"But what we didn't do was give it away. We stayed in the game and got our rewards in the end.
"We went in at half-time a goal up and when they got it back to 1-1 we might have crumbled.
"The penalty was obviously a key moment and though I didn't see it because I was picking myself up off the ground, I was pleased to have a part in it by playing it through (for Matt Green).
"It was great to be back in the side and I thoroughly enjoyed it."
THE Reds were brought back down to earth with a reverse against a Mansfield Town side who were smarting from a heavy home defeat at the weekend.
"The highs and lows of football," said Andy.
"A really good atmosphere, a good game of football and I'm really disappointed to lose. The last goal didn't matter as we were going for it.
"So proud of the players for the last 20 minutes of the game at 10 against 11. It seemed to take the sending off to spark us into life.
"Energy levels were a little low in the first half. The first 30 minutes were okay, we seemed to play some okay stuff, but maybe we needed to score in that half an hour. We conceded though and like Saturday we then seemed to go a little bit.
"That can't happen to us. We'll have to look at that and address that.
"Getting that goal back, a great one by Fowls, he got in at that just like at Grimsby, then we go and throw all that hard work away, when a long ball, a flick and it beats our centre halves.
"Nat and their guy are all over each other and whether it's a penalty or not - it is and that's what you'll see in the papers tomorrow.
"I can't fault the reaction of the players though and I'll take that as the positive out of the game and something to take into Saturday's game.
"To be fair their front two caused all sorts of problems and won a lot in the air. Dean akways said if you win your headers, then you'll win more games than you lose, we didn't do that. Across the back four and up top, so the ball kept coming back at us.
"Normally that's a good part of our game, as we have some good headers."
We weren't good enough against Mansfield says Wrexham FC's Chris Maxwell
by Mark Currie, DPW WestSep 29 2011
GOALKEEPER Chris Maxwell admits Wrexham FC have only themselves to blame for Tuesday night's 3-1 Racecourse defeat by Mansfield Town, a result that saw the Dragons deposed as leaders of the Blue Square Bet Premier League.
The disappointment of a second successive home defeat was compounded by the second-half dismissal of defender Nat Knight-Percival, who received a second caution for the challenge on striker Matt Green that enabled Mansfield to go ahead 2-1 from the penalty spot only minutes after the home side had equalised.
Maxwell said: “Football can be a mad game because two minutes changed everything. We were on top when we equalised, we were looking as though we would push on and then the referee has given a ridiculous decision against Nat.
“I thought he was very unlucky to be sent off. He was on a booking already so if there was a foul and he was the last man he should have been shown a straight red.
“It was simply a tussle between two players and probably six of one and half a dozen of the other.
“Their lad went down very easily and I think the referee realised that he had got it wrong because after that happened he gave us everything. But there you go.”
But Maxwell, who yesterday was named in the Wales under-21 squad for two Uefa Championship matches with Montenegro and the Czech Republic in Wrexham early next month, agreed that match official Richard Wigglesworth was not the cause of the Dragons' problems that began when striker Danny Wright put through his own goal to give the Stags a first-half lead.
“Overall we were not good enough over the whole of the game,” he added.
“The gaffer has just said in the dressing that we didn't play for 70 minutes and it took the sending-off to get us playing well.
“I include myself in that assessment because the performance was not up to standard in the first half.
“I think it was an own goal and we give too many free kicks away around our own penalty area.
“It happened against Grimsby last Saturday and that just puts us under pressure. You can blame the referee, but we have to look at ourselves as well.
“So it was a bit disappointing that we conceded a soft goal and I feel as if I could have done better with the free kick, but that's football sometimes. The game would not be as good as it is if these things didn't happen.”
Although Wrexham dropped to fourth in a league table showing just six points covering the top nine sides, Maxwell said there would be no panic reaction from caretaker-boss Andy Morrell.
“It's going to be nip and tuck all the way. We have been in this league three or four years now and we know anyone can beat anyone else on their day,” he said.
“I believe the teams that get the most clean sheets are the ones that will be successful and will be there or thereabouts.
“There is not a Crawley to contend with this season so it's going to be a lot tighter and we've got the formula to push on and win the league.
“It's a case of doing it week in and week out and we are not far away from doing that.
“If we'd known back in August we'd have 23 points on the board at this stage, we'd have gladly taken that and I'm sure there are going to plenty of shocks to come along the way. That's what being in this league has taught us.”
Latest | October 2011